LAUNCHES


PTS wins major contract within the further development of Ariane 6


(21 Dec 2021) Berlin-based aerospace company PTS has been awarded a development contract by ArianeGroup to supply one of the core elements of the further development of the Ariane space program: the electronics and operating system for the ASTRIS Kick Stage.

This additional upper stage complements the new European Ariane 6 launcher. The ASTRIS Kick Stage will further increase the versatility of Ariane 6 by providing higher payload capacities and enhanced performance for certain missions. Enabling new mission profiles, including the launch of satellite swarms, missions to the Moon or deep space, as it will make for reduction in spacecraft complexity and the risks inherent in orbit injection.

As ESA's prime contractor, ArianeGroup is developing the Ariane 6 rocket and the ASTRIS Kick Stage. The development of both the Ariane 6 upper stage and the Kick Stage are being led by ArianeGroup Bremen. In July this year, ArianeGroup was awarded a €90 million contract by ESA for the ASTRIS Kick Stage programme with the aim of further increasing the versatility of Ariane 6 and its performance in new types of missions. PTS is the largest subcontractor within the ASTRIS Kick Stage programme and oversees the operating system and all electronics.

The development contract also includes the budget for the realisation of the first mission of the Kick Stage: With the so-called HERA mission, ESA will send a probe on its way to an asteroid with the help of the ASTRIS Kick Stage. Together with NASA, the aim is to explore methods of deflecting dangerous asteroids away from Earth in the future.

Reference: PTS PR

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